Voodoo Glow Skulls
"Southern California Street Music"

(Victory Records 2007)Voodoo Glow Skulls - Southern California Street Music

Latino rockers Voodoo Glow Skulls are a speeding mix of punk, rock and ska. To say their sound is a blend of the three would make it sound more careful than it actually sounds. On "Southern California Street Music," the band's eighth album and third for Victory, they touch on politics, their city and love. And when I say their take on the last one is killer, do not read between the lines.

"I don't feel safe living in this scary place," singer Frank Casillas admits on "Morning Air Raid Sirens" in a delivery that has a straight forward hardcore style. Horns come through for a fuller sound, lightening the Skulls' sound for a bouncier result on "Discombobulated" and "Exorcism." Electric guitar thrashes out quick riffs and a decent solo while horns add a roar to "While My City Sleeps" while the heavy groove of "When the World Stops Turning" breaks out for a runaway chorus. "If she had a death wish list/You'd be the one that she wants dead," Casillas states on "Death Wish List" as the Voodoo Glow Skulls seem humanly unable to play their instruments any faster than they are.

Were there no horns on "Southern California Street Music," there would be little melody -- or variation. The Voodoo Glow Skulls come out on top with their genuineness. The band do not cut corners or clean up their style for a certain demographic. Instead they keep things short and sweet. But "Southern California Street Music" does not offer as much diversity as their home state.


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